TigsTown Scouting MLN: More Latin Signings

As we head toward the release of the annual TigsTown.com Top 50 Prospects, Managing Editor Mark Anderson continues to talk with those in the game and refine the scouting reports of players throughout the system. In this Scouting Notebook, Anderson brings you reports on three more Latin signings, the Tigers latest foray into the Asian market, and a GCL catcher.

Chao-Ting Tang – Outfield
We have provided some rough details in the past, but after a debut season in the states it is time to update on what was seen this summer. The first thing that stands out with Tang is his incredible baseball IQ. He understands the game quickly and has exceptional instincts in every phase of the game. He has a good approach at the plate and a solid understanding of the strike zone, combined with an ability to make contact on any pitch in the zone. He can hit the ball to all fields and has the ability to play small ball with the best of them. His limits offensively pertain to his power production. While he will never be a slugger, he should have good doubles power as he gains strength in the coming years. Defensively, Tang's slightly above-average speed plays up because of an incredible first step and excellent routes to the ball. He can handle all three outfield positions, and has an above-average arm with good accuracy.

Steven Mercedes – Outfield
An absolute monster left-handed hitter at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, and still just 17-years old; he has huge power to all fields. Mercedes puts on displays in batting practice with excellent leverage in his swing that generates good back spin on the ball and wonderful carry. His swing can get a bit long, but he adapts quickly and gets back to a quick bat through the zone. He's an average runner now, but doesn't project to maintain that speed as he matures. Defensively, he gets solid jumps and has a strong albeit inaccurate arm, and a good head for the game.

Yorfrank Lopez – Right-Handed Pitcher
The classic projection pitcher, Lopez's fastball is still raw and only sits at 86-88 right now, while touching 90 on occasion. Despite the lack of velocity now, scouts think he should add a few ticks as he gains strength in the coming years; and could reside in the low-90s in the end. Yorfrank has an above-average curveball with tight spin and good late break, that he commands well. His change-up is below-average at this time, but he has shown some aptitude for the pitch and it projects well down the line.

Jose Soledad – Infielder
A solid runner with good hands and a solid arm, Soledad should be able to stay in the middle of the infield, though he may move to second base if his foot speed drops to a tick below average. He projects quite well at the keystone. Offensively, Soledad has an excellent present understanding of the strike zone, with an ability to recognize pitches and lay off breaking balls outside the zone. There is some potential for doubles pop in his bat, but that is mostly projection at this time. He's presently a line-to-line hitter with little power.

Derek Lehrman – Catcher
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Michigan, Lehrman has been considered by many to be largely roster filler. That may well be the case, unless of course his power potential starts to come through in games. Derek has enormous power in his swing, and it is true power to all fields. His batting practice displays are something to behold, and he just has to decipher a way to transfer that to in-game at-bats. Defensively, Lehrman is a solid receiver with good blocking skills. His arm is slightly above-average, and his throwing mechanics are reasonably quick. His anticipation and instincts behind the plate make up for any slight deficiencies in his ability to cut down runners. Derek is a leader on the field with a knack for teaching and working with young pitchers.

Tigs Town Top Stories